Council members are expected to vote on the proposal on Feb. 21.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A controversial rezoning decision will soon be made in the Ballantyne area.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Woodfield Development plan to build a new elementary school and multi-family units across from Ardrey Kell High School, but some residents in south Charlotte are against it.
“I just thought you can’t be serious, if you’ve got those two schools and a lot of traffic already why would you want to put all those apartments right there and create a situation that’s worse for the schools and could be dangerous for the kids and create a huge inconvenience for the neighbors,” District 7 Charlotte City Councilman Ed Driggs said.
The rezoning petition comes as Charlotte continues to grow and student enrollment increases.
“Our schools are overcrowded, we need the schools and that’s a little why we are between a rock and a hard place,” Driggs said.
Driggs, like many others who live in Ballantyne, are concerned about the traffic and density the project would bring. He encourages more housing along transit corridors instead.
“We know there’s going to be growth and the only way to keep housing costs down is by creating more housing, but it’s not unlimited. The houses need to be in appropriate places, on transit corridors and where people can walk to work,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission said the proposal is much needed because of overcrowding at schools and the housing crisis.
“We’re in a housing crisis and however you want to phrase that, there’s housing you get throughout the city and I do not believe Ballantyne should be the exception to that,” Charlotte Mecklenburg Planning Commission Chairperson Keba Samuel explained.
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Due to concerns of traffic, the developer of the project has proposed transportation improvements like adding a traffic signal.
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“The volume of traffic that this area will generate, it will generate primarily by the school not the actual apartment development,” Samuel said. “We have to really rethink how we build in Charlotte.”
City Council is slated to vote on the rezoning petition on Monday, Feb. 21.